EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – With the Spartans and Wolverines set to square off Saturday on the MSU campus, law enforcement is also preparing.

But some students say the heated rivalry is tempered this year.

“This year I feel like there’s a little less hype, you know, looking to what the outcomes might be,” says MSU student Natalie Uhazuer. “I feel like people are less excited because the rivalry is not there as much this year.”

That’s the result of a struggling Spartan squad and continuing controversy around the program. MSU Football Coach Mel Tucker was fired earlier this season after he admitted to sexually inappropriate behavior during a phone call.

“Partially it’s the whole coach situation, and at the beginning of the season we thought maybe there’s still a chance but I mean, this year it just doesn’t seem like we have the momentum we had a couple years ago,” says Spartan student Leo Daritek. “People are kind of losing a little bit of faith after last week. It’s just disappointing, but i’m still looking forward to it. “

Many students say they were selling their tickets to the game.

Regardless, MSU Police and Public Safety is preparing for the onslaught of fans.

“We see a lot of action during the tailgating hours and then as well going into the game, and also after the game,” says MSU Police and Public Safety Spokeswoman Dana Whyte. “So, we really encourage our fans, our spartans, to celebrate safely no matter who wins the game or how the game ends.”

In the event there is an emergency, police are always available, she stressed.
Whyte also says its important to take actions to ensure a fun, safe night.

“We encourage everyone to stick to the buddy system,” she tells 6 News. “So, if you’re coming with someone make sure that you’re with them the whole time, leaving with them. We also have our safe MSU app — which you don’t need a login for, you can just download it for free on your phone — which has all of the campus safety resources in one place on the app.”

Whyte says to call law enforcement if witnessing anything concerning, rather than presume someone else has called.

Saturday will be the first night game to feature alcohol sales in Spartan Stadium.